For many years, I believed and taught that the seven churches mentioned in the second and third chapters of Revelation were sort of time clock of the church age in progress. I believed that God purposely selected them for a definite and distinct purpose: to give a complete picture of church history from the beginning to end. The last church the Lord Jesus Christ addressed was the church at Laodicea. The Laodicean church was the “lukewarm” church. Revelation 3:15 says it this way: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot”. This teaching regarding the “church ages” is part of dispensationalism. Dispensationalism is a Christian, Biblical interpretation that believes that God has related to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants in a series of “dispensations,” or periods in history. As a system, dispensationalism is expounded in the writings of John Nelson Darby (1800–82) and the Plymouth Brethren movement and propagated through works such as Cyrus Scofield’s Reference Bible.

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